Malcolm Jolley recommends the 2018 Cederberg Chenin Blanc…
When I was in Cape Town seven years ago, at the Cape Wine conference, the Wines of South Africa had a marketing strategy that went along the lines of ‘The New Old World’. I remember thinking it was a good one at the time since it worked on a few levels: a) it reflected the fact that wine has been made in The Cape since the 1660’s, b) a lot of the wines being made in South Africa were in a New World style, although c) a small but growing number of winemakers were starting to make wines that aligned in style more to Europe than California. The 2018 Cederberg Chenin Blanc is certainly well within category ‘c’. Made from 14 year old vines located more than 1,000 above sea level it’s made in stainless steel and lean and bright enough to pair with lunch, but it’s also round and fruit forward enough, after four months on lees, to pair with nothing as an aperitif. I got mostly citrus notes and hint of white flowers and that elusive almost saline quality wine writers call minerality.
Full disclosure: I tasted a sample about a month ago given to me by Cederberg’s Ontario agent, The Case For Wine, which is also a Good Food Fighter sponsor of this website (so is Wines of South Africa, while I am at it). I presumed this wine was in league with fancy old vine Chenin from established regions like Stellenbosch or a trendy one like Swartland and priced accordingly around $30 or more. It wasn’t until I checked my email this week that I realized it was priced well under $20. This may be because Cederberg is well north of the well known Cape wine regions and would likely be too hot to grow good wine grapes if its vineyards weren’t a kilometre high. In any event, for $18.95, I believe it’s well worth a try.
The 2018 Cederberg Chenin Blanc will be released into the LCBO’s Vintages program on August 3rd.